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109380082_7829259738_zParents, experts, and educators are beginning to realize career advice should not wait until children reach their teen years. Career advice as young as primary can set a child on the path to success, raise aspirations, help children value education, and prepare them for the workplace. This article will present some of the advantages of providing career advice to children as young as primary.

Career Advice Raises Aspirations

Under a government plan in England, children as young as seven are offered career guidance in the hope it will raise children’s aspirations. Career-related learning in a range of areas raises awareness of what these children can achieve. Hopefully, this will lay the foundation for them to make good choices in secondary schools, inspiring them to do well.

Research suggests that many children have very high aspirations by age eleven, 75% saying they want to go to university. Primary career advice can build on this by explaining the type of jobs they have will make a difference in their adult lifestyles, from what car they drive to the holidays they will have.

Career Advice Provides Advantages for At-Risk Children

The English program aims to challenge some of the “negative stereotyping” that leads some children from poorer backgrounds to believe that universities and certain careers are out of reach for them. All countries have homes where no family members have a university education, and these children benefit tremendously from career advice during their primary years. Additionally, neighborhoods with gangs and drugs need to have barriers to social mobility broken down and career advice can help do so.

Career Advice Provides a Glimpse of the Future

The English program gives primary students a glimpse of what it is like working and learning in adulthood. At ages eight and nine, they are asked to “realistically” consider which careers they are interested in and are taught that employers value team players, conscientious workers, and employees who are good at problem solving.

In an effort to get them to think “realistically” about their career prospects, children aged 10 write a CV listing the talents and characteristics they possess that are useful in the workplace, including their Excel and PowerPoint skills, punctuality record, interests, and any certificates they have for music, sports, or academic success.

Career Advice Encourages Children to Do Well in School

One extremely important result of career advice for primary students is that it helps them realize they need to do well at school and go on to higher education. The seed is planted early, making children want to take advantages of all the opportunities an excellent education offers them. Talking about careers helps them understand they will have to go to university to get the job they want.

What Can A Parent Do?

Experts agree that career planning should start as early as possible. It is never too early to start talking about careers and you can help your child by doing the following:

  • Talk with your child about his or her interests.
  • Share information about your own career with your child.
  • Provide opportunities for your child to visit you at work.
  • To expose your child to various occupations, allow your child to take part in “job shadowing.”
  • Do not pressure your child to make choices as all you want is for them to start thinking about career choices.
  • Provide age appropriate information and only as much information as your child can understand.
  • Since career choice is a personal decision, do not try to steer your child in the direction you feel is right.

In England, the government wants career advice to start in primary schools and for universities to give younger pupils an experience of higher education and the wider world of work. English primary students are not the only ones that can benefit from career advice. Parents, educators, and experts everywhere need to recognize the fertile minds of primary students are ready and willing to think about the future and the careers they will choose.

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